How did the 'New Romantics' of the Twentieth Century and the 'Macaronis' of the Eighteenth Century inadvertently highlight political ideologies by dressing in an openly androgynous style?
(2015) How did the 'New Romantics' of the Twentieth Century and the 'Macaronis' of the Eighteenth Century inadvertently highlight political ideologies by dressing in an openly androgynous style?, no. 48.
This dissertation explores the androgyny found with the fashions of the New Romantics (1980s) and the Macaronis (1770s). It looks into how and why both groups exhibited a high degree of androgyny within their choice of clothing. Through the aid of Judith Butler's theory on how gender is presented within society, with regard to her study of 'gender performativity', this dissertation examines whether these androgynous fashions highlighted political ideologies of the time and whether or not this was their ultimate aim. Establishing the general consensus that effeminacy of male fashion constitutes homosexuality, this study explores how society marginalises those who step outside the absolute standard of gender norms in regards to fashion, and how they are consequently punished with reference to historian Rictor Norton's (2004) findings on homosexual scandals. This study focusses on a detailed analysis on both fashion groups and how similarities can be drawn between the two. With regards to the Macaronis, this dissertation explores primary sources from The Public Ledger (1772) and The Town and County (1770), both of which give evidence to the summaries stated above. In order to assess the political discourse at the time of the New Romantics, this study looks into the repression felt by many during the time of Margaret Thatcher's premiership in Britain, and how this affected the fashion motivations of the New Romantics, whether intentionally or not. This study concludes that both groups inadvertently highlighted their political ideologies at the time.